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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    12

    Post Looking for a surgeon

    I am 60 had Harrington Rods t4-L4 at age 27, then a revision L4-5. I continue to have radicular pain through my right SI joint radiating down my right leg.
    What about all this laser surgery, and pain management. I would prefer not to have another surgery.
    Who should I see. I live in Florida but will travel to find the answer.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    hi Betty
    welcome to the forum....
    there is much support here from good people...

    i do not understand what you wrote...laser surgery is still surgery....
    so i don't understand if you are really looking for a surgeon or just a good pain managent doctor...

    i have a pain management doctor in NYC...
    i also had a pain management doc in CT, where i live now...he gave me SI joint injections that gave me
    a lot of pain relief...however, the shots he gave me in January were too much steroid all at once...
    as a result, i now have severely low cortisol...it is one side effect of steroid injections...
    i am not having any more shots, and am getting more blood work done mid month, to see if my
    cortisol is improving at all...
    low cortisol causes EXTREME exhaustion....

    but...that is not to say that shots shouldn't be considered...i got wonderful pain relief from the SI joint
    injections, and nothing else ever worked for me...not epidural injections, nor facet block, nerve
    ablation, or any other of the shots they tried with me...
    i should mention that i have not had spinal surgery...ever...yet....
    and no doctor could figure out why the SI joint shots worked...i was just glad that they did...
    i expect the pain to return now that i will not be repeating the shots....

    best of luck...i hope you find a pain management doctor who can help you...they are not all
    surgeons...i had one who is an anesthesiologist...
    there is a chance that you do need a surgeon for revision surgery....perhaps you need to see
    both a surgeon and a pain management doctor....

    jess

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    12

    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by jrnyc View Post
    hi Betty
    welcome to the forum....
    there is much support here from good people...

    i do not understand what you wrote...laser surgery is still surgery....
    so i don't understand if you are really looking for a surgeon or just a good pain managent doctor...

    i have a pain management doctor in NYC...
    i also had a pain management doc in CT, where i live now...he gave me SI joint injections that gave me
    a lot of pain relief...however, the shots he gave me in January were too much steroid all at once...
    as a result, i now have severely low cortisol...it is one side effect of steroid injections...
    i am not having any more shots, and am getting more blood work done mid month, to see if my
    cortisol is improving at all...
    low cortisol causes EXTREME exhaustion....

    but...that is not to say that shots shouldn't be considered...i got wonderful pain relief from the SI joint
    injections, and nothing else ever worked for me...not epidural injections, nor facet block, nerve
    ablation, or any other of the shots they tried with me...
    i should mention that i have not had spinal surgery...ever...yet....
    and no doctor could figure out why the SI joint shots worked...i was just glad that they did...
    i expect the pain to return now that i will not be repeating the shots....

    best of luck...i hope you find a pain management doctor who can help you...they are not all
    surgeons...i had one who is an anesthesiologist...
    there is a chance that you do need a surgeon for revision surgery....perhaps you need to see
    both a surgeon and a pain management doctor....

    jess
    Thank you for your reply. I am not sure what I am looking for I just want the pain to stop. I have had multiple injections in the SI joint about 13 years ago, they did not help. Since then the pain radiates down my entire leg. I was considering the epidural injections or a nerve facet block. About 10 years ago a myleogram was attempted but after an hour it was not possible to get through my scarr tissue. This makes me wonder if I would be a candidate for other pain injections.
    Thank you for warning about the cortisone levels

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,794
    Hi Betty...

    Laser surgery will not help you. It isn't (or at least, shouldn't) be used in deformity surgery. I just met a patient last week who had laser surgery in Florida. Her insurance wouldn't pay for it, as it is not indicated for deformity. The surgery destabilized her spine further than it had been, and she is going to have to have a major reconstruction.

    I know how hard it is to make the decision to have more surgery, but I can tell you from first-hand experience that it can be super effective. After having surgery a year ago, I now have no lower back or leg pain.

    There are some really good revision surgeons around the U.S. Where are you located?

    Regards,
    Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,690
    Welcome to the forum. I was 60 when I had my first surgery and certainly hope it is the last, but i am pleased with the results and have no regrets. Good luck in whatever you decide to do to relieve your pain. I know that many have had revision surgery and are happy with the results. I would never consider spinal surgery unless I had one of the best surgeons in the country because think it makes a huge difference in one's outcome.
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    12

    Post Great pictures

    Dr. Lenke is now on my good list. You look great!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by golfnut View Post
    Welcome to the forum. I was 60 when I had my first surgery and certainly hope it is the last, but i am pleased with the results and have no regrets. Good luck in whatever you decide to do to relieve your pain. I know that many have had revision surgery and are happy with the results. I would never consider spinal surgery unless I had one of the best surgeons in the country because think it makes a huge difference in one's outcome.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    12

    Post Laser surgery?

    Linda, thank you for your reply. My problem is coming from the two levels below my rods and fusion that is why I was wondering of laser might work on the last two levels. As you know they take a lot stress with the 12 above being fused.
    I am located in south west Florida but would travel for a good out come.

    Quote Originally Posted by LindaRacine View Post
    Hi Betty...

    Laser surgery will not help you. It isn't (or at least, shouldn't) be used in deformity surgery. I just met a patient last week who had laser surgery in Florida. Her insurance wouldn't pay for it, as it is not indicated for deformity. The surgery destabilized her spine further than it had been, and she is going to have to have a major reconstruction.

    I know how hard it is to make the decision to have more surgery, but I can tell you from first-hand experience that it can be super effective. After having surgery a year ago, I now have no lower back or leg pain.

    There are some really good revision surgeons around the U.S. Where are you located?

    Regards,
    Linda

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,794
    Quote Originally Posted by Betty B View Post
    Linda, thank you for your reply. My problem is coming from the two levels below my rods and fusion that is why I was wondering of laser might work on the last two levels. As you know they take a lot stress with the 12 above being fused.
    I am located in south west Florida but would travel for a good out come.
    Unfortunately, laser surgery would still be of no help to you. Beware of the Florida surgeons who are advertising it as a solution to just about every back problem.

    When I had revision surgery in Jan 2011, I also had the 2 levels below my fusion that had gone bad. Nate Lebwohl, in Miami, does revision surgeries. Also, Khaled Kebaish at Johns Hopkins has a great reputation. If you don't mind traveling, New York has an abundance of surgeons who specialize in revision surgery.

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

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